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    What is a script?

    In the context of MUDs and MUD clients, a script is a series of instructions written as lines of code that tells the client how to behave.

    Scripts automate repetitive or time-sensitive tasks like navigating specific paths, reacting to certain keywords, or casting spells. They allow players to optimize their gameplay by reducing manual input and improving responsiveness.

    Scripts have been integral to MUDs since their early days. As MUD clients evolved, scripting languages became more sophisticated, providing players with increasingly powerful tools to streamline gameplay.

    NOTE: Mobs can also have their own scripts, called mobprogs, which automate how they behave based on random variables or specific inputs.

    Script examples

    Auto-healing Script:

    • Automatically uses a healing spell or potion when the character’s health drops below a certain threshold.
    • Example (in the ZMud client scripting language):
       #TRIGGER {Your health is at (%d)%} {#IF (%1 < 30) {cast 'heal'} {}} 

    Pathfinding Script:

    • Moves a player between two points by following a predefined set of directions.
    • Example (in MUSHclient, which uses Lua):
       function goToCitySquare()
           Send("n; e; s; w; enter")

    Loot Gathering Script:

    • Automatically loots corpses of monsters that are defeated.
    • Example (in Mudlet, which also uses Lua):
       function lootCorpse()
           send("get all from corpse")

    Keyword Response Script:

    • Responds to specific keywords in chat by sending a predetermined message.
    • Example (in the CMUD client scripting language):
       #TRIGGER {Greetings, adventurer} {say Hello! How can I help you today?}

    Resource Management Script:

    • Manages inventory space by periodically selling or discarding specific items.
    • Example (in the TinTin++ client scripting language):
       #action {Your backpack is full} {drop rusty sword}

    For more scripting examples using TinTin++, check out the scripts list.

    Myths about scripts

    Myth: “Scripts are considered cheating.”

    • Reality: While some servers may have strict rules against specific scripts or scripting behavior, many MUDs allow their use to enhance gameplay as long as they don’t disrupt other players or the server.

    Myth: “Scripts make the game too easy.”

    • Reality: Scripts can help with repetitive tasks, but they usually can’t replace the strategic thinking and creativity required for roleplaying or solving complex problems. In fact, the creation of complex scripts can itself be a difficult and time-consuming endeavor.

    Myth: “All MUD clients support scripts in the same way.”

    • Reality: Different clients have unique scripting languages and features, so not all scripts are universally compatible. The GUI clients typically have their own user interface for entering in triggers, aliases, and scripts, but they may also feature command-line options as well.

    Script FAQs

    How do I start writing a script for my MUD client?

    First, familiarize yourself with your MUD client’s scripting language by reading the documentation or online guides. Begin with simple scripts, like automating common commands, and gradually expand to more complex tasks. Most clients also offer built-in scripting templates and examples to help you get started.

    Are there any scripting languages specifically popular in MUD clients?

    Yes, some common scripting languages include ZMud/CMUD’s proprietary language, Lua (popular with Mudlet), and Python. Tintin++ has its own scripting language, and MUSHclient supports VBScript and Lua.

    Can I share my scripts with other players?

    Absolutely! Many MUD communities encourage sharing useful scripts. However, ensure your scripts don’t violate the server’s rules before sharing them (or making use of them).

    Are there risks associated with using scripts?

    Yes, excessive automation can lead to unintentional rule-breaking, so it’s essential to stay within the MUD’s guidelines. Some poorly written scripts can also disrupt gameplay for other players or cause the client to crash.

    For example, if you write a script that unintentionally places you in an endless loop where you spam the server with the same command over and over, it’s likely to a) get you disconnected and b) crash your client.

    What are some good practices when writing scripts?

    Keep your scripts modular and organized, handle unexpected scenarios gracefully, and use clear comments to explain each section. Test your scripts in non-critical situations to avoid disrupting gameplay.

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    About the author

    Andruid is a writer, roleplayer, storyteller, and nerd who tries to live by Bill and Ted wisdom, i.e. "Be excellent to each other."